Match Preview: Dinamo Zagreb v Tottenham Hotspur
THU 18 MAR 2021EUROPA LEAGUE – ROUND OF 16 – 2ND LEG 17:55
Mother’s Day Sunday was a terrible day all around. Not only did we not try against the Gooners (we tried to be clever and sat back) and lost, but that my mother died as well (93). So, for many reasons, you want to forget that day and move on. Now we are here and back in the Europa League. We need to make amends for our failure against the Ur-anus team (not yours, there’s!). After that game, we’ve got Villa at Villa Park.
So, let us go straight to the team news for Thursday’s game.
Harry Kane will start the Europa League’s last-16 second-leg tie with Dinamo Zagreb. Kane was substituted in the second half of our loss at the Gooners ground on Sunday after taking a blow to his knee. Jose Mourinho said: “The game is open, and it’s an important game, so he plays for us.”
Son, who also came off during the Emirates game, has a more severe injury to his hamstring and won’t be playing.
Kane and Son have combined for 14 goals this season – a Premier League record between two players; unfortunately, they won’t be able to unite again to build on that record for this game.
Steven Bergwijn is an obvious replacement to come into the side on Thursday for Son.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will not play because of suspension, so either Harry Winks or Moussa Sissoko could come in, or indeed both if Tanguy Ndombele is rested.
Kane’s two goals in the first-leg win over Dinamo Zagreb took him to 26 goals for the season. He also has 16 assists. Son has 18 goals and 16 assists in all competitions this season. Despite his injury, Son was named in South Korea’s squad for next week’s international friendly with Japan, but Mourinho says he will not travel if he is injured. “If a player is injured, it doesn’t matter if it’s a friendly or official match,” said the Portuguese. “If we get to next week and he is injured, and we can prove that to the Korean association, then what can they do? If a player cannot play for the club, he cannot play for the country.”
Zagreb is in a crisis, but Mourinho insists the tie still go ahead. They have suffered a big blow in the build-up to the second leg, with their head coach Zoran Mamic forced to resign after being handed a four-year prison sentence for fraud. Damir Krznar, who was Mamic’s assistant, has been put in charge and insists the team will follow the approach he and his predecessor worked on before his departure.
Despite us holding a comfortable lead in the tie and this week’s events at Dinamo, Mourinho said: “I don’t think it’s such a good lead. I feel it’s open, I don’t feel it’s game over; if we go away, lose 2-0 and play the second leg at home, I don’t feel it’s over. I feel very difficult but open, so the way to approach the game is to think that way and that we still have a match to play and to get a positive result. At the end of the 90 minutes, if we lose 1-0 or 2-1 or even 3-1, we would qualify, but if we qualify with a defeat in this game, I’d not be happy. That’s the way I want the players to think, and that’s the way we want to play. We don’t go there to defend a lead, we go there to win a game.”
My thoughts and prediction
Prediction: Dinamo Zagreb 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur
One goal for us on Thursday will leave Zagreb requiring at least four to progress; that is why I am going for three goals. If we get the first, then the rest should easily follow as they will be deflated by then.
Zagreb have an excellent defensive record, but they have been rocked by the news of manager Mamic being sent to jail, and I cannot see an away victory.
My possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Doherty, Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Sissoko, Winks; Lamela, Alli, Bergwijn; Kane
Dinamo Zagreb Europa League form:
Dinamo Zagreb form (all competitions):
Tottenham Hotspur Europa League form:
Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions):
So there you have it. I think we will win by 5-0 aggregate. Once that is over, we need to get back to the league and get ready to face Villa, who won’t be a pushover but will be a must-win game (that is, if we want to take a place in the top four seriously).
Be safe and take care, Glenn
My name is Glenn Renshaw.
I am currently a Premium Season Ticket holder (West Stand) in the new stadium. Before that – at White Hart Lane – a season ticket holder in various parts of the ground (mainly in the North stand).
Before becoming a season ticket holder, I stood on the shelf and various other parts of the ground since the 1960s (the season of the double). In 1987 I became one of the first to hold a Spurs Membership card. I was also a life long member of the Spurs supporters club (now defunct).
I go to all home, away and abroad matches.
I was born in 1955, Edgware, London. I currently live in Berkshire.
I also collect all Spurs books, Spurs handbooks, Spurs programmes etc.
Previously, I wrote for Spurs Fanzines: The Spur, Spur of the Moment, My Eyes have seen the Glory and various other Spurs fanzines’. I also wrote for the SpursWeb app & its website.
I currently write and work for spursnetwork.com and its website. I write its Reviews & Match reports and a lot more.
My other interests are; reading, history, social history, Politics, going to the gym, wine, going out for a meal, music (all sorts), writing, theatre, concerts, going on holidays, socialising etc.
I have been writing blogs/ articles since 1989
If you wish to read more of my blog, please click “here”